Manner Monday®: Tips for Holiday Tipping

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by Carey Sue Vega in Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Do you find yourself asking how much you should spend when spreading Holiday Cheer to service providers? It can be a bit overwhelming when you start making the list of all of the people who not only make your life easier, but also those who help you, take care of you; everything from day care providers, housekeepers, and pet groomers, to hair stylists and personal trainers. And modern times bring new categories to that growing list; personal assistant/errand service, eyelash care, nail tech, and don’t forget the technology ninja who makes sure your home office stays online! After all, they are the people we rely on throughout the year.  To help you navigate the process, we’ve put together some guidelines to help you show your appreciation.

First, take some time to make your list.  I love using Evernote for tasks such as this, it syncs seamlessly between your desktop and phone app so you can update the notes, make changes and access it on the go.  When thinking through who should be on your list, start with the suggestions above and then add to it any other people who you think deserve a special thank-you.

Next, figuring what and how much to give.  How much glee do you consistently spread throughout the year?  For example, your Hairdresser, do you tip them well on a regular basis? If so, maybe consider something a little more creative for the Holidays. Of course cash is always a great gift, and always appreciated. Or, you could opt for something a bit more creative.  More than likely you’ve spent enough time with them to have a pretty good idea what some of their favorite things are, or the things they enjoy doing like going to the movies.  You could get them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or to their favorite movie theater.

Here are a few possible categories of service providers and recommendations on ‘how much’ to tip.

Those who help with your Children: 

  • Babysitter – 1 nights pay, plus a small gift or note from your child.
  • Day Care provider – $25/75, plus an optional small gift.
  • Teacher – $10/20 gift cards make great teacher gifts anytime of the year!
  • Pet groomer (your other child) – one service fee.

Those who help with your Home:

  • Housekeeper – up to one week’s pay, plus an optional small gift.
  • Letter Carrier –  gifts up to $20 in value; they are not allowed to accept cash.
  • Handyman – $15-50
  • Technology Ninja – $20-50 if they make regular visits to your home office.
  • Yard/Garden Worker – $20-50
  • Trash/Recycling worker – $10-30

Those who help ‘you’ take care of ‘you’:

  • Personal Trainer – One session
  • Personal Assistant / Errand service – $20-50, possibly more depending on how much and how often you rely on their services (up to one month of fees).
  • Hairstylist – cost of haircut or service.
  • Nail Tech – cost of one service.
  • Eyelash Care – cost of one ‘fill’.

If money is tight:  be careful and think through your gifts, you don’t want to avoid giving a gift to someone you’ve historically gifted – that might send the wrong message.  Instead you can still give something, but maybe a bit scaled down.  Then make sure you include a sincere handwritten note focusing on why you are grateful for them.  More than just ‘thank-you’, share with them why are you thankful.

And last but not least, no matter what you choose to give, be creative in the presentation. If you are planning to give cash, swing by your local bank and get new, clean, crisp bills.  If you’re giving gift cards, wrap them and add a nice bow.  If you’re writing a note, use nice paper and a good pen.  Taking the time to make an attractive presentation is just another part of showing how much you care – you’ve thought through the process, and didn’t just hit the drive thru on your way to see them.  If you need some gift card wrapping inspiration, I’ve pinned a few fun and easy ideas to my Pinterest board “Gift Card Wrapping” that make for a great alternative to just handing over the cash.

Click to Tweet:  #TippingTip: if you are planning to give cash, swing by your local bank and get new, clean, crisp bills. #MannerMonday

And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Thanks for reading!
Carey Sue

In other news….

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  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude you’re Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training



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